Nigeria is not the only country where Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) experience difficulty accessing credit facility. According to the Acting Chief Executive Officer of CWG Plc, Adewale Adeyipo, small businesses in the United States experience the same struggle.
Adebayo said there is nowhere in the world where the Small and Medium Enterprise exists as a perfect entity. It was learnt that the challenges faced by the entrepreneurs in Nigeria confront owners of small businesses in the developed world as well.
For many SMEs in Nigeria, lack of financial support and tax incentives has been a barrier that is too high to overcome, and this has led to the demise of some small and medium businesses at their early stages, while for companies that were able to scale through, maintaining its deep-pocket investors is another struggle.
[READ MORE: MSMEs to get N154 billion credit facility from LAPO]
Although in recent years, SMEs have found comfort in private equity firms and venture capitalists, as banks are known to sideline small business owners from having access to credit for years. However, not every sector or market enjoys the privileges of private equity firms as most usually focus on tech-related businesses.
To withstand the pressures of the business environment in Nigeria, Adeyipo advised that small and medium enterprises should keep evolving as new challenges arise. He stated that the significance of the SMEs to the growth of the economy can’t be overquantified.
“The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) statistics revealed that 99.7% of U.S. (United States) businesses are SMEs. However, there are several barriers that the U.S. SME sector still faces, especially in commodities. The significant barriers to trading include insufficient access to finance, high transportation costs, tax laws, and rules, maintaining profitability, developing new products, language, and cultural differences.
“Gaps like these signify no SME ecosystem is perfect, and they are required to keep evolving with time as new challenges arise. Despite the challenges in the SMEs market in the US, the sectors still contribute 47% of total employment.
“While in developing economies like India, the contribution of the SME sector to manufacturing output, employment, and exports of the country is quite significant. It is noted that regarding the value, the SME sector of India accounts for 45% of the manufacturing output and 40% of the total exports. India’s SME sector employs around 42 million people in over 13 million units throughout the country.”
[READ ALSO: DBN meets SMEs’ financial need with over N70 billion]
His statement regarding the essence of SMEs to a nation’s economy isn’t far from the truth, as SMEs in Nigeria contribute 48% of national GDP in the last five years, account for 96% of businesses and 84% of employment. With a total number of about 17.4 million, they account for about 50% of industrial jobs and nearly 90% of the manufacturing sector, in terms of the number of enterprises, this is according to a PWC report.
Speaking on the need to provide more than financial support for SMEs, Adeyipo said policymakers need to ensure a friendly business environment to support the growth of SMEs.
“Strategic implementation takes care of financial aspects, human resource, marketing, research and development, technology, and corporate governance in the SME sector.
“SMEs in developed nations are not only relying on credit availability but technological innovation and infrastructural policies. Hence, it is critical for policymakers to create an enabling and sustainable environment as a bedrock for SMEs to flourish.”
[READ FURTHER: 11,000 MSMEs secured N37bn loans in 2018 – Access Bank]
Job listings spike up by 183% in April –Jobberman
Jobberman released figures showing a 183% increase in job listings on its platform in April 2020, thanks to its #UnityInAdversity campaign.
Notable job placement website, Jobberman, has released figures showing that there was a 183% increase in job listings on its platform in the month of April 2020.
This increase, according to Jobberman, is a result of the #UnityInAdversity campaign which allowed companies to post job listings and access Jobberman’s database of over 2.2 million professionals across Nigeria for free, rather than paying the usual fees. This was the company’s way of showing support to businesses and individuals, amid the economic challenges which resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the release from Jobberman, this campaign came at a cost to the company since it was trading off its revenue by offering for free, the same services which formed its major source of income.
“At the beginning of March, Jobberman Nigeria saw a 70 percent decrease in job listings due to the reduced economic activity caused by the enforced lockdown and many companies shutting down recruitment budgets to cut costs. Jobseeker sign-ups also decreased by 17 percent. Jobberman took the bold step to put employers’ and job seekers’ needs first” the statement read.
The campaign, which is billed to run till June 30, has paid off greatly as data for April’s job listings alone was more than that of the entire Q1 2020 period. See a breakdown of the job listings below:
- Almost a fifth of the positions (18.79%) were listed in the tech sector
- Banking, finance, and insurance accounted for 9.27%
- Education and training had 6.78 percent
- IT & Software positions accounted for 11.69%
- Sales had 13.32%.
Note that with the increase in job listings, job seeker sign-ups also increased by 39% in April alone.
Speaking about the campaign, the CEO of Jobberman Nigeria, Hilda Kragha said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has made the process of connecting talent to opportunities more complicated and we are fully aware of the strain businesses and individuals in Nigeria are facing. We plan to be here for the next 10 years so making this small sacrifice to help our users navigate these difficult times is something that we think is definitely worth doing”.
Kragha also noted that the campaign has encouraged healthy competition as candidates strive to show themselves qualified for the position.
“We have found that soft skills such as emotional intelligence, business etiquette, time management, which are often overlooked and underestimated in Nigeria, can make a big difference. We know the power of soft skills and we are committed to empowering individuals with the training and soft skills they need to succeed in the workplace” she explained further.
Sequel to this, the company also launched a free soft skills training programme to help job seekers (between age 18 and 30 years) acquire the needed soft skills and better their chances of gaining employment.
Gold prices rise, as President Trump decides on China today
Gold prices jumped on Friday as China and America’s drift deepened over further moves by China to impose security laws on Hong Kong
Gold prices jumped on Friday as China and America’s drift deepened over further moves by China to impose security laws on Hong Kong, lifting the allure of safe havens amid market uncertainties.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser cautioned the Chinese lately that Hong Kong, which has enjoyed special privileges, may now be treated like China when it comes to financial matters and trade.
Trump, who had earlier vowed a tough action on China, will hold a news conference today to announce what measures his administration will take.
Spot gold gained about 0.1% at $1,719.63 per ounce, and U.S. gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,734.60.
The friendship between the Americans and Chinese had weakened, since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Trump and President Jinping of China have accused each other as a result of issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why do Investors buy Gold? Global Investors most often buy the safe-haven asset in times of uncertainty and use it to hedge against cash (inflationary macros).
“The possible U.S. response could range from a tearing up of the Phase 1 trade deal and fresh tariffs on China, to milder travel or financial sanctions on Chinese officials,” said Shane Oliver, chief economist at Australian wealth manager AMP to Reuters News.
“It is seen as a major threat to the rally we’ve had and the recovery,” “If it’s at the relatively mild end, then I don’t think it would derail the recovery bull market, but if it’s at the more extreme end with tariffs and harsh treatment of Hong Kong, then I think it gets more problematic,” Oliver added.
AfDB board denies asking Adesina to step down, as Obasanjo says the bank risks being hijacked
“The Bureau of the board of governors informs the public that it has not taken any decision. Everyone must allow the Bureau to do its work and allow due process to reign.”
The Bureau of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has denied media reports making the rounds that AfDB’s president, Akinwumi Adesina, has been asked to step down pending the completion of the probe and determination of allegations against him.
The bank’s top governing board members said that they have not asked Adesina to step down from his position as president, even as the board continues to review the fallout of complaints by some whistleblower. The statement from the Chairman of the bank’s board of governors, Niale Kaba, said:
“The Bureau of the board of governors informs the public that it has not taken any decision. Everyone must allow the Bureau to do its work and allow due process to reign. All governors will be carried along in resolving the issue.’’
Kaba also stressed that there was no governance crisis at AfDB as was being speculated in certain quarters. He confirmed that the Bureau of the Board of Governors of AfDB met on Tuesday, May 26, after the request by the U.S Secretary calling for an independent probe. The essence of the meeting was to take a closer look at the allegations by the whistleblowers against Akinwumi Adesina, said allegations which had already been investigated by the ethics committee of the bank.
Kaba further disclosed that even though no decision has been taken yet, the bureau assures that it is treating the case with the utmost seriousness that it deserves.
Adesina, who maintains his innocence of those allegations, had stated that a fair, transparent, and just process will vindicate him.
In a related development, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo had thrown his weight behind Adesina and kicked against the demand by the United States of America for a fresh, independent probe of the AfDB President who had earlier been cleared by the ethics committee of the bank.
In his letter to 12 former African Presidents, Obasanjo said that Africa must stand up and not allow its institutions to be unduly controlled by non-African countries.
Obasanjo said that the bank has witnessed tremendous growth under Adesina’s leadership and has doubled its capital base since he took over.